The : “we are the leading nonprofit defending digital privacy”

Also : “we’ve partnered with the world’s largest who makes billions by violating your privacy to train the people who will make the policies that defend your privacy – come be a Google Policy Fellow!”

This is institutional corruption at its worst.

Is anyone else sick of this bullshit?

Via @schestowitz

Following EFF’s recruitment drive for Google Policy Fellows, Greenpeace is seeking new Exxon Mobil Policy Fellows. Also, the American Lung Association is looking for new Philip Morris Policy Fellows.

Of course they’re not. Because they’re not bullshit.

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@aral I have to disagree with you.

All this is is that the EFF will work with big tech companies when their interests align, and against them when they diverge. Seems only prudent to me.

And unlike what Hollywood lobbyists would suggest, the EFF works against *big* tech at *least* as often as they work with them.

@aral @alcinnz I'm not the one making a case that an organisation is fundamentally corrupted without evidence, so why should I?

@awg @alcinnz WHAT MORE EVIDENCE DO YOU NEED? How fucking daft are you?

@aral @awg I say, sure be sceptical of how successful this individual move will be.


They've got the full spectrum of soft power to hard power (at least to the extent possible outside government) against businesses like Google.


To resume the reasoning I used the other day. If Coca-Cola funds you and you tell the truth about how shitty Coca-Cola is for your health, then you're OK. Mostly.

That shouldn't erase the suspicion that your message may be compromised to some extent. Maybe you're exposing some shit but not all the shit intentionally. Or maybe you're just a whitewashing campaign tool, and your claims will be forgotten tomorrow. Actually we don't know, that's the problem with this.

@aral @awg

@aemon @aral @awg Is Google helping to fund the EFF? If not, I don't think your point stands.

It's just one move from them (out of many positive) which we disagree with.

@aral @alcinnz "daft" enough to know that a small nonprofit doesn't stand a chance against a mega company like google by childishly drawing lines in the sand and not using every possible opportunity to "rub elbows" with the people who've actual power to effect change.

if you've got further evidence they're compromising their Mission with actual collusion and not simply using these events to get the EFF "brand" and message out, then please show it. otherwise I think you're the one being quite daft.

@alcinnz Policy. Fellows.

It doesn’t get worse than this.

POLICY. Fellows.

@aral That's only on *some* policies.

I'm saying the EFF is nuanced in picking their allies. The world isn't black and white between friend and foe.

They don't disclaim this in any given campaign, that would just hurt their causes. But when you look accross them all their work it's certainly there.

@alcinnz Do you see Greenpeace recruiting Exxon Mobil Policy Fellows? The American Lung Association recruiting Philip Morris Policy Fellows.

Yes, when it comes to human rights, there are those who violate it and those who protect it. Yes, there are friends and foes. Our inability to distinguish between the two is what allows them to keep doing what they do.

I agree with you, @alcinnz that the world is not black and white, and even if it was, you can't progress without talking with your adversaries, whatever your war is.

However @aral is right that you cannot patner with someone which is structurally incompatible with your goal. You can (and should) talk with them, but partnership is impossible until the structural issue is fixed.

Otherwise you compromise your own goal, because they benefit from the ambiguity.

@alcinnz It's one thing for the #EFF to form a united front with our corporate exploiters to defend #NetNeutrality against the cable oligopoly, or to fight #DRM #Crippleware pushed by the #MPAA, or some other issue where our interests are actually aligned. That's just good strategy (never fight a war on two fronts). But I have to agree with @aral and @Shamar on them having corporate-sponsored fellowships. We're seen what that kind of sell-out has done to #Mozilla, #Linux Foundation, and others

@alcinnz it also gives muckrakers like #YashaLevin ammunition to use against EFF (for reasons I'm still trying to figure out):
@aral @Shamar

@strypey @alcinnz @aral

I agree that having wars on several fronts is not good strategy: indeed the Roman Empire was careful to integrate (not just subdue) a previous enemy before expanding to a new territory and start a new war.

But the problem here might be which interest your new allies serve. In the European Copyright Act mess, Google stopped to effectively lobby against filters as soon as they realised what competitive advantage they can get!

@aral >institutional corruption
>at its worst
I would steal from Kings to fund my mission too. doesn't mean they sold out.

@aral goes hand and hand with the custom of promoting their presence on facebook, google and twitter 😖 .

To their defense I doubt that all Greenpeace events are reached by bike or foot either.


I'm sick of the radical purity that impeach the global collective to move forward by making incremental changes. Often the purity is made out of a place where the speaker is not doing much concretely, beside speaking, to shift things in another direction, the purity also put in-between users or compagnies in front of an impossible task : self suicide for the sake of purity or die because lack of income etc that allow them to do their work. - 1/4

@aral This purity of goals, without assessing what intermediate doable goals could be done in the middle that would advance the whole is what make the global left in general loose battles but most of all loose ground in favor of what is supposed to be the issues - 2/4

@aral Purity doesn't advance a cause, it advance the profiles of those claiming to be pure (when nobody is, unless you go offline and lives out of the system) but it doesn't advance the global cause of privacy, data ownership and much less change just even a hint about the surveillance industry. It just doesn't - 3/4

@aral Instead purity leads to fighting those that try all the possible ways to advance the interest of the many, purity is what makes good ideas turn into cults and cultism is what's makes good ideas into nightmares. - 4/4

@aral Also the founding of the EFF is all about letting companies do what they want online and preventing governments from stopping them:

@aral exactly. They can't be relied on to fight corporations

@paul @aral damn right. Although ACLU and FFtF seem to have stronger track records and less of that Grateful Dead dude type of counter-culture. But orgs with truly international character would be interesting.

@paul @aral that sound like too of an arbitrary interpretation to me :) That deceleration is indeed addressing exclusively the government, but it has no mention on companies at all. Assuming that this was written in defense of capitalism is a huge logical jump.

well, there is this one part in that that i think has an obvious anti-capitalist interpretation:

"We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth."

(emphasis on "economic power")

@paul @aral

So, about those "Let's Encrypt!" SSL Certificates?
@paul @aral

@aral this is terrible. They are really partnering with the business making a censorship friendly search engine for a commie dictatorship

I am. And it is good to have people like you on the 100% (b)right side. Many more should follow. But complete rejection of anything with a hint of shadow attached, makes it harder for ppl who are still in the 'dark' to cross over. There are shades of grey in between, leading to the light.

As a young dev I didn't know this side. Starting w OS switch, then browser, gradually becoming more aware.. its a path to follow, one step leading to the next; more commitment given

@humanetech @aral
I very much agree with this, even though it would be so awesome if a switch could just be "flicked".

It's a process. A personal growth of becoming more and more aware. Because what's key in the transition is that people realise for themselves and don't just ignorantly follow a different path (albeit more open path).
If people don't really *understand* and integrate that new lifestyle, any path of ignorance is just that, ignorant...

@aral While it's good to point out the mistakes of people working with us towards the same causes so that they can correct them, publicly shaming and discrediting them is unwarranted hostility.

What if some of your 40-50k followers stop trusting #EFF altogether?

Being part of the solution in this case would be finding ways of fundraising the amount of $7500 required for the internship to avoid taking corporate sponsorship.

Let's stop shooting people on our own side when we're so outnumbered.

@aral I'm going to pretend that isn't a rhetorical question and give you an affirmative answer:

@aral Hell, EFF was dead to me when they hopped aboard the Russiagate Krazy Train last year.

@aral yep. Its also endemic in their google summer of code (they steal ideas) and google drive (cloud storage) lack of rights to the user. The EFF is also founded by the wierdest hack(who recently died) JP barlow of the greatful dead, republican psycho libertarian). Makes the EFF kinda suspect actually

@aral @schestowitz "Put simply, the lords of the internet care very little about user privacy—what they want to preserve, at the end of the day, is their own commercial license against the specter of government regulation of any kind."

@aral @schestowitz "But the truth is that EFF is a corporate front. It is America’s oldest and most influential internet business lobby—an organization that has played a pivotal role in shaping the commercial internet as we know it and, increasingly, hate it. That shitty internet we all inhabit today? That system dominated by giant monopolies, powered by for-profit surveillance and influence, and lacking any democratic oversight? EFF is directly responsible for bringing it into being." (ibid)

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